With four wins out of four and maximum points accumulated, it’s been a perfect start to the season for the Blues.
Maurizio Sarri’s squad features a few new faces, but how have our summer signings fared in the Premier League so far?
In her first column of the season, our resident fan blogger Hannah Kurzawski, reflects on the performances of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Kepa Arrizabalaga as they get their Chelsea careers up and running.
Having joined the Blues from Napoli shortly after Sarri was appointed as head coach, Jorginho was already familiar with the Italian’s style of play and managerial methods before even putting on a Chelsea shirt.
The first thing I noticed about the former Verona man was how vocal he is towards his team-mates, constantly directing, supporting and encouraging those around him. The new No.5 has hit the ground running since joining the Premier League, scoring on his debut against Huddersfield and completing more passes than the entire Newcastle side during the Blues’ visit to St. James’ Park - 158 passes compared to the 131 from the Magpies.
In fact, Jorginho has made more passes than any other player has so far this season, with a total of 417. Already making an impact in midfield, Jorginho’s Chelsea career has begun with a bang.
Another new face in midfield is that of Mateo Kovacic, who arrived on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. The Croatian international has featured in a Blues shirt on three occasions so far, and was given his first home start against Bournemouth on Saturday.
He had six shots on goal and made four tackles against the Cherries, more than any other player. What is immediately obvious from watching Kovacic play is his work rate on the pitch. He engages himself going forward but also tracks back when necessary, getting stuck in wherever he can. Already he is linking up well with his midfield partners, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, and his play creates space and opportunities for Eden Hazard to surge forward.
The transition from La Liga to the Premier League isn’t always easy and players sometimes need a while to adapt. For Kovacic, this doesn’t seem to have been an issue at all.
Goalkeeper Kepa joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for a record fee this summer. With such an accolade, it is no surprise that all eyes would be on him as soon as he made his Premier League debut.
It is pressure that the young Spaniard has dealt with tremendously, notching up his second clean sheet of the season against Bournemouth this weekend. Like Jorginho and Kovacic, Kepa has settled easily into the side. As each game passes he grows in confidence, and is showing how agile he is in goal and his ability to lead the back line.
While relatively untested against the Cherries, Kepa was alert and comfortable when called upon. The keeper has made a really promising start to his Blues career and will only grow stronger as the season continues.
All that’s left for us to do is to master the pronunciation of his surname. We managed it with Dave!